I never know what’s going to show up when I sit at the computer to write for NaBloPoMo. One rule I set for myself when I began three weeks ago (has it already been three weeks?!) is that I don’t pre-write regardless of what I have scheduled or what shows up. After all, the point of this exercise was to develop the habit of and muscles for writing every day, and more so, the willingness to be vulnerable.
As I did my morning stuff — dishwasher, laundry, and walking the dog — my thoughts wandered down one path and up another, playing with ideas for today’s post. And then I sat at my computer. What I thought I was going to write about wound up added to my ‘ideas’ list, because something else showed up — something I didn’t expect, but in hindsight, should have seen coming.
Last night Len shared with me the ‘story of his life’ that he presented to his fellow employees yesterday. (Someone is randomly selected every week to give a presentation about themselves. This gives the staff the opportunity to get to know each other and to keep up with each other’s lives.) Len’s story naturally included photos of his family. And me. And vacations. And…. yes…. bathing suits.
I hadn’t planned to mention going to a business dinner tomorrow night with Len’s co-worker and his wife. It just doesn’t seem relative anymore … and it sounds like we go out all of the time, which we don’t. We’re more breakfast people and pretty much stay local. Our typical weekend is hanging out at home, catching a movie or catching up on our favorite TV series. We’ve attempted to get together with Brian and his wife for nearly a year. First we were dealing with winter weather and then family schedules conflicted once warmer weather finally rolled in. (Last week’s outing was a last minute thing.)
When Len shared his slide show last night, I was amused. I told him that since Brian’s seen me in my bathing suit on numerous vacations, the make up thing is a non-issue. While it might not seem like that big of a deal, I’ll bet if you ask pretty much any woman, and yes, I mean ANY WOMAN, not one will say she feels comfortable in a bathing suit.
This ties in with my experiment and challenge to not wear make up. You see, earlier I was searching YouTube for a video relating to my original idea for today’s post and one thing lead to another. I found Brittany Gibbons’ TED talk from 2011, and I knew that this was what I had to write about today.
I’m not pretending to understand the depth of what is going on in our society regarding self image or self esteem. This topic is way too deep and I couldn’t begin to scratch the surface of the cause or the solution because it’s the age old question of the chicken and the egg. What I can speak to is my agreement with Brittany about our ‘being the change.’ It’s way too chilly here in northern New Jersey, to shed my clothes and reveal myself in a bathing suit for this blog, I can at least shed my self consciousness about my appearance once and for all.
From my experience, I know that what I see is what I see.
Let me explain. Remember when you were first learning to drive? All of a sudden you became aware of cars… very aware. You found yourself daydreaming about the car you’d buy and then it seemed that wherever you went you’d see that same car. What I you saw in your mind’s eye is all you saw on the street. This is the same thing.
When you fully step into seeing yourself as an amazing, beautiful, confident human being, all of a sudden you will see yourself no other way. It’s takes a lot to do this, and it’s not always easy. As with eating the elephant, it’s one step at a time…. Like Brittany, first removing her necklace, then her belt… we can shed one belief at a time. Some may take longer than others — even Brittany joked about stripping being easier in her mind. But she continued anyway. And in doing so, she accomplished her goal and by doing so, she gave the rest of us a template of courage.
Taking back our sense of ourselves — whether female or male — will create the shift in what we see available to us in our lives. This is about so much more than what we buy or what is dictated to us as standards of beauty. If no one is paying attention to what is being shown, the picture will eventually change.
And that is change we can believe in.
Copyright 2014 by Donna Cerame. All rights reserved.